The Thames is back on the map (and possibly zones)

I’ve been a bit obsessed with the recent changes to the Tube map. It appears that the story may be coming to an end.

According to a story on BBC News, TfL will reintroduce the Thames to the Tube map in December. And it sounds like zones may be back as well.

A TfL spokesperson had this to say:

The overwhelming public reaction is that the Tube and Thames should be reunited, so that’s exactly what we will do.

New maps showing the Thames will be reintroduced from December, the date of the next scheduled revision of the map.

We are also looking again at the provision of zonal information to ensure that it is widely available to customers and aim to reach a conclusion on that, also by December, when the new Circle Line service needs to be reflected.

In the meantime, I noticed two things.

Zones aren’t even provided in the “Index of Stations” on the new paper tube map. This makes me wonder if TfL aren’t considering a flat fee across the network (this is how it works on the New York subway subway system).

The second thing I noticed is an old Tube map with zones at Tooting Bec Station (pictured above). I don’t think this was there on Thursday, but it was there yesterday.

7 thoughts on “The Thames is back on the map (and possibly zones)

  1. I’m pleased they changed their position, there are some stations, for example Canada Water and Canary Wharf, that are close together but on different sides of the Thames, important to know what’s what.

    On the flat fee idea, maybe they will in zones two to six, but they’ve just introduced pink oyster card readers for PAYG customers to determine if you travel through zone one. Seems thay want this zone for a while yet.

  2. Justin,

    I just assumed that they’d be squaring the Circle Line. It’s all a part of their master “decluttering” plan. A circle is just too messy.

    Nick,

    I missed the pink Oyster card reader story. But this seems needlessly complex, and places the burden on the customer to find a pink Oyster card reader. It also assumes that everyone will know what that there are pink Oyster card readers and what they’re meant to be used for. All the more reason for a flat fee, I say. If TfL want to declutter and simplify, I can’t think of a better way.

  3. Geoffroy,

    I love Londonist’s uncluttered Tube map, but I have one problem with removing the station names:

    The “Rough shops” station is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long while. It would be a shame to lose it.

  4. OK, as I understand it the pink readers are optional, they give regular users a way to tell TfL they’ve steered clear of Z1, but tourists etc won’t be adversely affected, apart from not making a (maximum) pound saving. I think the number of people who don’t go into zone 1 is small (Z1 is massive on the tube map).  

    The problem’s going to come when, as I’ve heard, they extend the pink readers to handle interchange between the coming PAYG use of over ground train services. TfL has done a deal with the train companies to extend oyster and make it easier for commuters, they’re going to need records in order to dish out the revenue. If pink readers at these stations are as badly sign posted as on the DLR (for example) then it will affect people and they will be charged the penalty fare, a bad situation. I think at the moment, TfL is trying to do it’s best bringing legacy systems into the 21st century. I’m not totally upset with it so far only because the extra ‘touch’ isn’t mandatory.

  5. The Pink readers definitely make more sense when you take the trains into account. Again, I think this is all the more reason to turn the tube network into a single zone. If Oyster card pricing is as confusing as pricing is for train tickets, things are going to get very messy, very quickly.

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